Watching the final project was really cool and interesting. I liked how even though each group was working off the same concept and plot, our individual productions were really different. I especially liked hearing the kid’s voices because it really made it feel like we were partners in this whole thing. Working off of video chat was a little complicated and I would have liked to have felt more interaction and involvement. However seeing it all come together I definitely was relieved that we all made it happen and we were successful in making our vision come through.
Well, we did it! Great job and congratulations to everyone in the class that worked hard to get this project together.
Viewing the final product was interesting, to say the least. Each group approached the project in a different way, which clearly showed across all five acts. Of course, this was partly due to inconsistencies with each group’s ability to get their act recorded with the students. Our act ended up going a more traditional route by recording the script with action figures as the characters, which worked best for our group. Other groups got very creative, combining drawings with pictures and having a combination of voices from the students in our class and the students with whom we worked.
One of the most obvious takeaways is simple how hard this is to do over Zoom. Beyond the communication issues in getting the actual recordings, it was very difficult to offer any direction over Zoom during the recording process. Our group, for example, could not really see where the characters were set up in the background. It turned out to be manageable due to the circumstances, but with all of the extra time and effort we put into just facilitating the project over Zoom, I felt like we did not get a chance to get into many technical details of the production, nor were we able to explore the meaning and intention of Shakespeare’s work and our adaptation. Admittedly, after writing that, I see that it probably would have been difficult to accomplish either of those goals under normal circumstances, but I felt like we struggled to even complete the project at all. The students with whom we worked largely had to take us at our word when explaining things, rather than breaking them down.
All-in-all, the full production was about what I expected, especially given the updates last week about recording our own voices if necessary. I think it is an accomplishment to even get all of the acts together in one coherent story, regardless if we missed some details the class decided on. For example, our group found it difficult to tell the story from a specific character’s (Hero, I think) perspective when working with the children. For whatever reason, the concept just did not click with them, and we had to prioritize making actual progress over incorporating that part of the story. But, by the end, it did not seem to affect the overall production because of the varied approaches. Each act had its unique eccentricities that set it apart from others, which made for an interesting overall watch.
Getting to watch everyone’s final project was a cool moment to end this journey. I think as we all worked on our individual acts, we became so engulfed in making sure that we were reaching goals. In the end, it was nice to see all of our projects come together and create one big piece of work. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the process of explaining the plot of the play to each of our students, and what they were able to help us create based on that. One of the most enjoyable parts for me was seeing the way the kids threw typical ideas of Shakespeare to the wind and used whatever dialogue, action figures, drawings, or pictures that they saw fit to represent their story. Starting the semester with Much Ado and finishing it with our own adaptation was a great way to come full circle
I loved watching the final project all at once! I think that each act and scene was so unique, and you could really see the students’ creative freedom in each one. While our group (Act III) was disappointed that we could not get images or audio from our students, it was awesome to see the project come together as a whole.
One thing that I especially loved was changing Claudio to Claudia in the adapted version, but keeping her love story with Hero intact. It was awesome to see the kids suggesting that and running with it, I think it made the story really engaging and interesting!
Overall, this project was not at all what I expected, but in the most refreshing way. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do this (despite COVID and all the technical/communication issues). It was such a great experience!
I can’t believe it’s finally over and I was not expecting the end product to be as entertaining as it was.
Given the amount of challenges the individual groups had and Bezio/Soderlund with communicating, I was very concerned it would not be engaging. However, the combination of peer voiceover (shoutout to Jack and Omar) and then hearing some of the kid’s enthusiasm was charming. Watching this out of context would have been extremely confusing, BUT we’re all experts on Much Ado by this point so it was cool to focus on how the plot translated to an adaption guided by the direction of elementary/middle schoolers. I especially loved the use of color in Act 3 settings, background music in Act 4 and the final dance scene in Act 5.
I don’t think our choice to have each act narrated by a different perspective came across entirely but this inconsistency didn’t disrupt the project. Another decision that wasn’t carried throughout the play was changing Claudio to Claudia. Again, it didn’t disrupt the play but I think would’ve been really cool to see in later acts. My favorite parts of the play are when the student’s voices/video are used. I wish I could’ve been involved in an experience like this when I was their age and it makes me happy that we were able to have JSP at all given COVID.
Overall, it was frustrating at times but the final product made it all worth it. I definitely needed the laughs to counteract the stress of finals week.
It was really interesting to note that the level of community engagement was associated with the amount of creativity put into the scene. I loved the kid’s voices and felt that it made the scene much more receptive and fulfilling. It really has me thinking about the bigger meaning of this class and how the things we choose to watch, listen, and pay attention to end up being the ideas we manifest.
I loved everyone’s scenes put together to analyze as an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. It gave me a lot of perspective into stage and screen, and life itself. The kids were all able to play a part in some way (of course, not really my group and I’m sad about it, but everyone was awesome). I hope that the kids remember ideas that we have creatively shared and taught them. I feel that the new scripts were a very enriching way of learning about the social issues we now must face in society. Whatever issues you face, just know that everyone else faces them as well. The connection comes from being impacted.
I feel as though I have never felt more civically engaged, between this class and the other Jepson classes I am apart of this semester. Having acknowledged that Jepson doesn’t necessarily teach us what to think, but rather how to think. Engaging with the City of Richmond, the once Capital of the Confederacy, during the Black Lives Matter movement, is incredibly fulfilling. I registered to vote in Richmond, and got to feel — in person (with a mask) — what it was like to be a civically engaged human being in these soon-to-be historical times.
Watching all the videos together was really cool! There definitely were some holes in the plot across all the acts, but I think this made the project especially interesting because each group of kids was given full creative freedom to do what they want with each act. I thought it was really cool to see each different groups approach to the storyline and what they changed to make the adaptation. I also really appreciated our group’s decision to turn Claudio into Claudia, yet still respect the original romantic storyline. There was another act that also decided to use Claudia, which was awesome! It is really amazing to see these kids be open to changes in the plot and include representation of the LGBTQ community while challenging stereotypical gender constructs. Overall, while the final product had a few plot line confusions, I think the heart of the project truly showed through and I am really grateful to have had this experience to work on this, especially through covid. It’s awesome we were able to figure out a way to make it work even though we could not be in person with the kids. I hope the kids had as much fun as I did!
It was so great watching our adaptation of Much Ado! I think regarding all the challenges we faced, we really did a great job of rewritten the play for the students to understand and learn the play! It honestly even helped me further understand the characters and themes of the play. With COVID and having to do this project virtually we were guaranteed to have challenges. My group especially had issues communicating with our community partners, but in the end I still really enjoyed the experience. Even though our meetings were not that productive most of the time, it was so fun meeting with some of the same kids each week and talking to the ones who were so interested.
It was a lot of fun to watch everyone’s final product because we each came at this adaptation in a slightly different way. As I watched the play I was struck by the fact that this production really embodies the idea of reclaiming Shakespeare and making it yours in a little way. When Shakespeare was writing his plays he was not imagining that it would be rewritten by some kids and college students over Zoom. There was no way we were meant to be able to relate to the characters so much, but we took the plot and his cast of characters and made it our own thing. It was so powerful to see all the work they had put in, and see how everyone had added their own humor and spice into the script. As a modern reader of Shakespeare a lot of the humor is lost because we use language so differently, but in our adaptation each of the jokes were relatable, and the puns made me laugh in a way that the original play didn’t. Even though this production is very different from the play, I love that everyone managed to bring the essence of the characters to their section. Overall, I loved seeing what everyone came up with, because each act was a fun representation of the groups.
While our completed adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing may have suffered a bit from lack of communication between our separate groups, this ultimately made the project an engaging and unique viewing experience! I’ve truly never seen anything like it. While watching, I made note of the biggest continuity issues (though “issues” might be too harsh a word here, since I enjoyed finding the changes between the acts). For instance, Bea begins as the narrator in Act 1; then it switches to the community partners narration in Act 2, then to no narration in Act 3, then to an objective narrator figure in acts 4 and 5. While at first this was disorienting, I found it interesting to see how each group chose to relay the events of their respective acts. We also go from Claudia, to Claudio, to Claudia, back to Claudio. I found the oscillation between that character’s gender especially noteworthy since it ended up not being an issue at all in understanding the play’s plot, which I see as a potential statement on accepting and normalizing queer expressions of gender. Also, Don John seemed to switch from a student on the rival football team in Act 1 to the rival coach in Act 3, which was somewhat confusing. However, I had a blast watching the final product, and I hope our community partners are also proud of the work we were able to accomplish together!